December 22, 2018

Abbreviations #75 | Dash and Lily's Book of Dares, Snow in Love + Famous in a Small Town

I’ve had Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares on my to-read list for years, and owned the Kindle book for nearly as long as I’ve known about it. I decided this year that this December would be the perfect time to finally read it, and I’m glad I did. It’s a cute story - a girl leaves a red notebook in the Strand Bookstore in New York with clues, and a boy finds it, and thus begins a scavenger hunt and a new relationship. It’s charming, even as it’s odd and occasionally pretentious (which is really mostly Dash, who I found a little difficult to like at first). I liked the set-up for the story a ton (who wouldn’t want to find a mysterious notebook and go on a scavenger hunt in New York?), the New York setting (especially at the holidays) and the fact that words and a bookstore play a large part in this tale. It was nice to finally experience this YA classic for myself this year, and I’d definitely say it was worth a read.

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan | Series: Dash & Lily #1 | Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers | Publication Date: October 26, 2010 | Source: Owned the Kindle book

If you’re on the hunt for something that will leave with all the warm, fuzzy feelings that also has a holiday twist, you’ll be in luck with Snow in Love. This four story collection is basically just like a holiday rom-com done four ways, and I found it really enjoyable (even if it might not stay particularly memorable). Kasie West’s Snow and Mistletoe is about a girl returning from a year abroad studying music, who ends up stranded in Denver and joins a group of former schoolmates on a road trip to beat the storm home. (It’s adorable, even with its predictability, and I may have reread that ending moment multiple times.) Aimee Friedman’s Working in a Winter Wonderland is about a girl who ends up working in a department store’s Christmas Corner in an attempt to get closer to her longtime crush. Melissa de la Cruz’ The Magi’s Gifts is about a girl determined to get the perfect Christmas gift for the boy she loves. And Nic Stone’s Grounded focuses on the unexpected reunion of two former friends when they end up stranded at the Atlanta airport in transit. (It was delightful, and made me want to go around the Atlanta airport too.) If these stories appeal to you, or if you’re looking for something to go along with your holiday spirit, I’d certainly recommend checking this collection out.

Snow in Love by Kasie West, Aimee Friedman, Melissa de la Cruz & Nic Stone | Publisher: Point | Publication Date: October 30, 2018 | Source: Paperback borrowed from Kristin

I’ve always enjoyed reading novels by Emma Mills, and I can’t say that experience was any different with Famous in a Small Town. This newest novel is about Sophie and her friends over the course of one summer in their small town of Acadia, including the arrival of a new boy next door, and the pressure to raise enough money to send her marching band to California. I enjoyed Emma’s writing, as always, and flew through the pages of this tale. The small town vibes (which reminded me so much of my own hometown in the Philippines, and evoked a strong longing for it), the tight-knit group of friends (which made me feel all warm and fuzzy, and I particularly enjoyed that they were very distinct individuals) and the banter were fun. However, despite all of the things I liked, I didn’t quite get on with this one the way I did with This Adventure Ends and Foolish Hearts. There was something a little clunky to the writing, the plot was pretty average and I didn’t quite fall in love with the characters as much as I’ve done with her other stories. Still, I’m glad to have read Famous in a Small Town, and I still look forward to reading more of her work.

Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills | Publisher: Henry Holt | Publication Date: January 15, 2019 | Source: ARC received from the publisher (Thanks!)


  1. I'm glad you finally got to Dash and Lily! And we definitely had similar feelings about each of the stories in Snow in Love. Thank you again for lending me Famous in a Small Town- I'm hoping to read it as my second book of the new year!

  2. Ohh, yay for enjoying these stunning looking Christmas stories :D They sounds awesome. I'm glad you liked these books a bunch love. <3 Thank you for sharing your thoughts on them :D They would not really be for me, but gosh, I love the covers, haha.

  3. I am *so* excited to read Famous in a Small Town even though everyone has been saying it isn't as good as her other books. I'm happy to hear you still enjoyed it!

  4. So happy I have discovered your blog! Thanks for sharing your reads!



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